Today, U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S (R-AZ) authored a letter along with David Schweikert (R-AZ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Ben Quayle (R-AZ) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Director John Morton to reconsider the agency's rescission of seven 287(g) Task Force Memorandums of Agreement with Arizona law enforcement agencies. ICE's decision to terminate this agreement means the denial of much needed resources to local law enforcement agencies to assist in enforcing federal immigration laws.
"This is a declaration of war against Arizona and her citizens. This administration has left no doubt that this is a political stunt to punish the state of Arizona for using its Tenth Amendment rights to fill gaps left by lax federal border security and immigration enforcement, " Congressman Gosar (AZ-01) said. "The federal government is purposefully tying our local police forces' hands behind their backs in the fight against border violence, drug running, and gun smuggling as part of a partisan political game. The dismaying decision by ICE to rescind the 287(g) program in Arizona will have great ramifications on the ability of our local communities to protect their citizens."
Congressman Schweikert (AZ-05) said, "Former Arizona Governor Napolitano and President Obama have waged war on our state once again. Amounting to a total neglect of its Constitutional duty, this Administration has left Arizona law and border enforcement high and dry. I urge both the president and Secretary Napolitano to consider the ramifications of this political maneuver and reconsider this poor decision."
Congressman Franks (AZ-02) added, "There reaches a certain point in politics when one's lexicon simply becomes inadequate to fully capture the shameful absurdity. In summary: the Supreme Court came down this week on the side of Arizona's immigration law, agreeing it is constitutional for police officers to conduct immigration checks during routine stops. Realizing he had lost that argument, Mr. Obama said, essentially, "fine, perform the traffic stops, but when you report immigration violations, I'll just tell ICE to ignore them.'
Congressman Franks continued, "To be clear, what we have here is the political equivalent of a child woundedly saying, 'I'm taking my ball and going home,' except Mr. Obama is playing fast and loose with the lives of the innocent Americans both he and federal agencies like ICE are sworn to protect."
Congressman Quayle (AZ-03) said, "If it weren't part of such a long pattern of presidential abuse, I would find it hard to believe that the Obama Administration would seek to contravene both the Supreme Court and the laws of the State of Arizona as they did with the decision to suspend the 287(g) agreement. President Obama needs to fulfill his constitutional duty to defend the law -- not seek out new ways of subverting it."